Posts Tagged ‘wardrobe styling’

Vests make magic

Thursday, April 11th, 2013
City Chic

Marni printed blouse, $365 / Topshop / White House Black Market slim pants / White House Black Market t-bar shoes / Oasis handbag, $43 / Sandy Hyun / Carolee LUX

I’ve always loved vests. I purchased my all time favorite one back in 1992 at Nordstrom. I still wear this black suede number with black leather trim, and patch pockets. I always feel sharp and put together in it. Besides that, the vest provides extra warmth in the winter when worn over a sweater.

Last week I checked out the Derek Lam’s DesigNation Collection at Kohl’s in advance of my writing about it for the Included in the collection is a streamlined black crepe vest that drapes beautifully and looks expensive. I especially like the way it skims the torso. I’ve been on the lookout for a vest that exactly matches the design and weight of this one. Since it fit perfectly and cost $38 with a Kohl’s coupon, I bought it.

Lam’s designs speak to contemporary women who want stylish clothes that are also functional. Many of the pieces in his collection, like the black vest, could be dressed up or down. Inspired by my vest purchase and this season’s black and white trend, I created an outfit that showcases this versatile wardrobe piece.

An online reviewer gave this item 4 stars and has these words to say about it: “…..this vest is the kind of piece that I can see wearing for years to come”. Nicely said.

Sunday stroll along Park Avenue

Sunday, March 31st, 2013
Springtime stroll on Park Avenue

Alaïa knit skirt, $1,665 / Chanel , $2,270 / Kate Spade high heel platform shoes / Wallis black and white handbag / White House Black Market faux pearl jewelry / Talullah Tu pearl bangle, $24 / Chanel black face watch, $2,795 / Maison Michel hat / I Heart New York Empire State 12 x 12 Paper

Vintage Chanel and memories of New York in spring inspire this ultra feminine ensemble. Mix a little Chanel with a little White House Black Market, and you get an outfit with a whole lot of class!

A new year a new you….2013 style tips

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

Each new year offers possibilities for change. Many take the age old adage “out with the old and in with the new” very seriously by stepping onto treadmills, loading up on fruits and veggies, and discarding their cigarettes. In fact, the month of January takes its name from Janus, the Roman God associated with doorways and beginnings. Judging from the spike in closet cleaning activities during this month, perhaps Janus also looked after wardrobes. Those who desire a fresh new look in 2013 will want to read these ten style tips:

1. Conduct a full scale closet review. Keep only versatile and flattering pieces in good condition that deserve a four star rating;

2. Take advantage of post-holiday sales to stock up on basics, like black slacks, jeans or a tailored jacket;

3. Look for tops and sweaters that update and complement your core wardrobe;

4. Embrace colorful clothing and accessories. The Pantone Color Institute picked emerald green as the “it” color for 2013;

5. When assembling an outfit, mix multiple textures together for visual excitement, such as leather, silk, velvet and tweed;

6. Play around with jewelry. Layer necklaces and bracelets, and combine fine and faux;

7. Go for quality, not quantity. Wait for sales, shop at consignment shops, and avoid impulse buying;

8. Pay attention to grooming. Check for lint, stains and piling on clothing. Press clothes and shine shoes;

9. Invest in good looking outerwear for casual and work activities;

10. Build in an extra 5 minutes each morning to dress. Look in a full length mirror before leaving the house.

Now you’re ready to walk out the door feeling confident and looking fabulous.

Put your best style foot forward in the new year













2013 fashion trend “out” list

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Closets everywhere chronicle fashion trends.  Each year some styles briefly appear and then disappear, while others stay around long enough to deserve the label classic. Which trends have staying power and which don’t? Here is a list of fashions that probably won’t occupy a prominent place on the style horizon in 2013:

  1. 1980’s style dolman sleeve tops – Better left in the fashion archives;
  2. Ultra wide cropped sweaters – Knitting lesson gone horribly wrong;
  3. Capes – Pretty but impractical;
  4. Slouchy trousers with low crotch  – Cross between harem and MC Hammer pants;
  5. Peter Pan collars – Overworked and unexciting;
  6. Smoking slipper flats – Ballet flats still rule;
  7. Bold floral jeans – Visual overload;
  8. Oversized purses –  Give your hobo bag a rest;
  9. Mega platform shoes and boots – Feet and backs around the world started a revolution;
  10. Shoulder length chandelier earrings – 2013 is the year for minimalism.

Move over style outs, and make room for this year’s trends.

Capes: A Pretty but Impractical Trend














Fashionable holiday gifts for under $50

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Some folks buy all their holiday gifts and wrap them by Thanksgiving weekend. Others wait until the spirit moves them to tackle Santa’s wish lists. Since I fall into the latter category, I appreciate reading other blogs that feature holiday gift ideas. I count on bloggers to give me great ideas and inspire me to shop. So, maybe something on my list of five fabulous items under $50 will end up under your tree this year:

Studded long leather glovesBrian Atwood, famous for his shoe designs, created these studded gloves for the limited edition Target-Neiman Marcus collection for $49.99. Styling women attracted to glamour with a modern edge will love these gloves;

Women’s leather strap bracelet: The Talley bracelet, decorated with crystal accents, gold studs, and gold links comes in four fun colors, and sells for $38. The Kate Carlyle Gift Boutique in Greenville, South Carolina also carries this item at a slightly higher price;

Men’s knit horizontal striped tie: Cool and casual, this retro thin tie from the Gap sells for $29.95. Choose from either grey and white or burgundy and blue horizontal stripes;

Sugar Bath lychee scented body lotion: Available at Sephora for $22.50, this ultra-moisturizing lotion is the antidote for dry skin;

Back up battery for iPhone.  Every iPhone addict will love this stocking stuffer. J Crew dressed the tiny device in polka dots for women and stripes for men.  $39.50 buys such peace of mind.

Brian Atwood

Shoe designer Brian Atwood, a designer for the limited edition Target-Neiman Marcus collection














Couple taking a little break from holiday shopping











“Go to” fashion basics that retain their style appeal

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

A corner in every woman’s closet holds the “go to” pieces she loves to wear. Clothes deserve this elevated status because they pass the test for comfort, versatility and enduring style. These feel-good items are not only easy to wear, but they also provide figure flattery and a seamless fit. Oh how happy we would be to have an entire closet full of our treasured pieces. Maybe the fashion forecasters are gently moving us in this direction with their predictions of a  return to effortless style and simple elegance in 2013.Vogue describes this trend as “practically styling-free” and “no-fuss beauty”. Unlike the unkempt, grunge look, this trend celebrates  natural beauty and a pared down approach to style.

What better way to embrace this back to basics fashion philosophy than to purchase a few standout wardrobe essentials? These always trending fashion must haves definitely deserve the “go to” worthy label:

jeans: The relentless quest for the ideal jean may well be over. Greenville, South Carolina based Beija-Flor sells figure flattering denim in a variety of styles and colors for modern women who want style, fit and comfort. Ringing endorsements keep appearing for these stretch denim “curve friendly” wonders from publications such as Oprah, People Style Watch and Health Magazines. I’ve seen these jeans and they are ultra soft and beautifully made.

Cardigan Sweater:  Comfort and style harmoniously coexist in the Ann Taylor cashmere hoodie. Pair this sweater with skinny jeans or a pencil skirt, and wear it running errands or to work. This high fashion hoodie, now selling at 50% off the regular price, comes in luscious colors like pomegranate, and nouveau blue. Sounds like an ideal holiday gift to me.

Striped t-shirt: Stripes endure season after season and never disappoint. I love my assortment of striped tees, and I especially like wearing them with print or plaid scarves. Navy blue micro-striped tees attract classic dressers, while dramatic types gravitate toward bolder, bigger multi-striped ones. J Crew even sells a sequined striped tee at $128 for the gals who want their stripes and glamour too.

What does your “go to” list consist of?


Beija-Flor, Greenville, South Carolina jean company

Beija-Flor, the miracle jean










Fancy striped tee















Women’s working wardrobe trends

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

I dedicate this posting to National Career Development month and all those who take bold steps to advance in their professional careers. Quite simply, image matters in life. It remains a mystery to me why individuals overlook the fact that presenting a pleasing image is a key strategy for success. Studies confirm that people base their first impressions of others largely on appearance. Opportunity knocks more loudly for individuals who look their best and present a positive personal brand. I include the results of additional revealing research on image in my book, The Power of DRES: Dres System’s Guide to Building a Professional Image and Working Wardrobe. I co-authored this book with eight other stylists from across the country, and my chapter explored “Our Relationship With Clothes”.

Current women’s professional styles definitely reflect the preferences of confident women who embrace their femininity. Gone are the nondescript power suits of the past that made women look like men. The new dress for success wardrobe includes distinctively designed separates with surprising sartorial details like asymmetrical collars and peplums. Attention getting textured wool and jacquard fabrics combined with flowing blouses and bold accessories send a self-assured message. This modern look also epitomizes the preeminent formula for the working wardrobe, which is expressed by the acronym B.E.S.T. (Basic, Elegant, Simple, and Tailored). Trends suggest that women want to buy B.E.S.T. work clothes. Although today’s longer hemlines, classic blazers and understated dresses resemble yesterday’s classics, they also capture the here and now. One might very well find these three pieces from the innovative Spanish clothing company, Zara in a fashion forward working woman’s closet:

Modern Women like  B.E.S.T: Basic, Elegant, Simple and Tailored.



Working Women's styles from Zara

Today’s trends reflect a confident and accomplished woman














The Power of D.R.E.S. Book Cover

























Fall 2012 purse power

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

A women’s almost constant companion is her purse.  It holds her treasured valuables and expresses her unique personal style. Most women keep their antennae up for the perfect bag that blends both form and function.  Every gal lucky enough to have found such a celestial item can attest to the fact that a good purse holds numerous rewards. First of all, carrying a five star bag boosts one’s style confidence and adds a chic factor to the plainest of outfits. Secondly, a well-designed and constructed purse enables the wearer to reach inside and retrieve items effortlessly from its contents.  Few things in life compare to this welcome feeling!  Thirdly, quality handbags withstand the test of time because they hold up and retain their luster even after years of wear.

DRES System stylist consultant Melissa Sabatine, one of the co-authors of  the newly published book “The Power of DRES”, made this comment about the importance of a handbag: “a handbag is often the first thing someone notices when a lady enters a room, which can either be a good or bad thing.”  She went on to say that size matters when it comes to handbags. In other words, small to medium size bags suit petite women, and larger, taller women can rock oversized ones. Another “Power of DRES” co-author, Colleen Bradley, details which handbag sizes and shapes suit each of the four DRES System’s body types: Diamond, Emerald, Ruby and Sapphire. Furthermore, she promotes the DRES System’s philosophy that body type, personal style and lifestyle needs should guide one’s handbag choice. Ms. Bradley also advises that every gal should have a day bag, a weekend bag and an evening bag in their closet.

Does your handbag wardrobe need a pick me up? Here is what’s new on the handbag horizon for fall and winter:

  • Oxblood and wine colored purses – the new neutral;
  • Shearling and fur trimmed bags – fun and whimsical;
  • Embroidered and needlepoint purses – old world charm;
  • Micro messenger bags – for those who pack light.



How to stay cool and stylish in the heat

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

As the dog days of summer blanket the area with heat and humidity, choosing clothing that provides breathability, sun protection and comfort  puts the fun back in our summertime activities. The keys to comfort and safety in extreme temperatures include understanding how to dress in the hot weather and knowing what heat friendly materials to wear.

Breathable fabrics allow air to circulate through clothing, whereas artificial fabrics trap heat and sweat, causing overheating.  Finer threads, looser weaves and more porous materials all induce air circulation and feel light on the skin.  A winning textile formula combines a good fabric and a good weave. The best way to determine the lightness and breathability of a weave is to hold it up to the light and examine its transparency. The more light that passes through the fabric, the more breathable it is.

Color selection and fit also play a critical role in summertime dressing. Braving the heat in black and other dark colors invites perspiration, whereas wearing light hues reflect the sun and keep you much cooler. Clothing should always contour the body rather than bind it.  Avoid tight fitting garments, especially snug pants, tightly cinched waist bands and thick foundation garments.

The top hot weather fabric options  include linen, cotton, silk, and certain synthetics.  Linen deserves its reputation as the most light-weight and breathable fabric.  Some shy away from this hot weather staple because it wrinkles easily.  Cotton comes in a variety of summer weaves including poplin, seersucker, madras and gauze.  Poplin has tiny dimples and air pockets making it breathable and faster drying than a flat weave. The popularity of seersucker suits in the South is proof of its lightness.  Madras is a loose weave, best known for its distinctive plaid pattern. British soldiers wore gauze, another loose weave, in the tropics.

Silk combines elegance and lightness in one fabric, and it feels smooth and cool on the skin.  On the other hand, silk is pricier than cotton and requires more care. Because certain synthetic fibers do an excellent job of wicking away moisture and circulating air, they are ideal for active wear and sportswear apparel. Since not all synthetics and synthetic blends have the same beneficial properties, always test a garment for comfort and coolness before heading out in the elements.

Effective hot weather management also requires adequate sun protection. In addition to sunscreen, smart clothing options, such as long sleeve shirts, long skirts, pants and dresses, shield individuals from harmful rays. Simple accessories, like sunglasses and hats provide critical cooling protection to the face and eyes.

One can enjoy both style and comfort this summer in these hot weather fashion picks for men and women, available at Greenville retailers:

  1. Southern Tide Awenda stretch cotton tailored shirt in seaside colors for $99.50  Available at Rush Wilson Ltd.
  2. Santiki artful batik maxi dress at Mast General Store for $49.99
  3. LinQ brand soft, comfortable tops worn by Eva Longoria and Jessica Alba at SavVy.


Ideal top for a hot summer day










LinQ designs available at SavVy in Greenville, SC















Enchanted Fashion Event Fundraiser For Upstate Students

Monday, July 9th, 2012

You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men.  I spent a lovely Sunday afternoon back on June 9 that I intended to blog about much earlier, but life got in the way. That day stood out for several reasons. I sipped Mimosas, listened to live jazz and feasted on brunch at the Sapphire Creek venue in Simpsonville. Aptly named “Summer Enchantment”, this Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority sponsored event raised scholarship funds for area students through the ETO Endowment Fund.

Even though I usually take a rest from style on Sundays, I never pass up a fashion show. The afternoon’s entertainment included a beautifully produced parade of summer apparel from Belk. The models commanded the runway and the guests’ attention as they showcased the hottest  summer trends. A total of thirty fashions were grouped into five themed scenes and represented a lineup of standout styles, including a short wrap dress by BCBG Generation and a strapless gown by Adrianna Papell. The  Free People neon pink net dress took my breath away.

Professional photographer Craig Sweeney memorialized the day, and here is a sampling of his work. Craig’s business, Classy Photos, provides services for all types of special events. You may contact him at or 864-380-8043.

I cast my vote for a repeat performance of Summer Enchantment in June, 2013!

Free People Neon Pink Net Dress

Bold Print Halter Sundress



Sleek and Simple Bridal Dress